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As this statistic rises, so does the level of decimation of families of color.The stronger the protest for rights, the harder the system fights back against it with means of incarceration.Each interviewee is shot in a location that evokes an industrial setting, which visually supports the theme of prison as a factory churning out the free labor that the 13th Amendment supposedly dismantled when it abolished slavery.
However, it also was being a typical Hollywood movie at times.
This was mostly true in the cases where the President came off being naïve, when he through caution into the wind for a girlfriend, and at other times, like when he was to dignified to join into the smear campaign.
It serves as a reminder that far too often, people of color are seen as simply that, regardless of who they are. This dehumanization allowed for the acceptance of laws and ideas that had more than a hint of bias. cocaine possession and plea bargains accepted by innocent people too terrified to go to trial.
We also learn that a troubling percentage of people remain in jail because they’re too poor to post their own bail.
The film builds its case piece by shattering piece, inspiring levels of shock and outrage that stun the viewer, leaving one shaken and disturbed before closing out on a visual note of hope designed to keep us on the hook as advocates for change.
“13th” begins with an alarming statistic: One out of four African-American males will serve prison time at one point or another in their lives.
Profit becomes the major by-product of this cycle, with an organization called ALEC providing a scary, sinister influence on building laws that make its corporate members richer.
Several times throughout “13th” there is a shock cut to the word CRIMINAL, which stands alone against a black background and is centered on the huge movie screen. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation”, Du Vernay traces the myth of the scary Black felon with supernatural levels of strength and deviant sexual potency, a myth designed to terrify the majority into believing that only White people were truly human and deserving of proper treatment.
The duly convicted part may have been questionable, but by no means did it need to be justifiably proven.
So begins a cycle that Du Vernay examines in each of its evolving iterations; when one method of subservience-based terror falls out of favor, another takes its place.